Arash Aramesh interviews a political operative with close ties to Rafsanjani, who is "down but not out":

What Rafsanjani did was that he convinced Mahdavi-Kani to run. This man is a very conservative but a moderate cleric. Rafsanjani and Mahdavi-Kani have been political allies for many years. This [Mahdavi-Kani’s nomination and subsequent victory] was a team effort led by Rafsanjani. ... Rafsanjani’s political astuteness led him to convince Mahdavi-Kani to run and deny a hardliner such as Jannati, Yazdi, or Mesbah-Yazdi the highest position in the Assembly.

The operative notes that Rafsanjani "is still the Chairman of the Expediency Council and has enormous economic influence."

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.